St. Louis Blues Try to Continue Undefeated Streak in Canada vs. Vancouver Canucks


St. Louis Blues Game 5/82: Friday, October 16, 9:00 PM at Vancouver Canucks

The St. Louis Blues will play their third of five early-season road games in Canada on Friday night, traveling to visit the Vancouver Canucks in an extended trip that will last six games in total. The Blues will be playing their first set of back-to-back games during the 2015-16 season, having defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 on Thursday evening.

The Blues will look to have more success against Vancouver than they did in 2014-15, as Vancouver won all three of the team’s matchups (though one of those wins came in a shootout). The Canucks outscored the Blues 14-7 during those games, so the Blues will definitely have to create more scoring opportunities this year if they want to compete with the Canucks. Like the Blues, the Canucks are 3-1 to start the season, but they’ve also been off since Tuesday, so it should be interesting to see how much more energy they have than the Blues on Friday night.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Jeremy Rutherford reported on Friday afternoon that veteran forward Scott Gomez will make his Blues debut on Friday night after being a healthy scratch for the season’s first four games. Because the 35-year-old’s current skill set is nearly entirely based around his ability to facilitate and move the puck, it’s likely that he’ll be taking over a center position and forcing either David Backes or Kyle Brodziak to a wing. Considering the solid performance of the Blues’ top nine forwards through the first several games, it would seem logical for Ryan Reaves, who has struggled early on, to get a night off with Gomez being inserted on the fourth line.
As was the plan heading into the Blues’ back-to-back with the Oilers and Canucks, Jake Allen will get the start in goal on Friday after Brian Elliott started Thursday. It’s a crucial game for Allen, who is looking to remain in contention for the Blues’ starting goalie job this season now that Elliott has begun the season 3-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average through those contests.

The Blues haven’t been holding any organized practice sessions this week because of the heavy workload and travel involved with the Canadian trip, so there’s no way to have any real indication of what type of group Ken Hitchcock is going to put together, but here’s a guess at how the lineup might look tonight:

Alexander Steen-Paul StastnyVladimir Tarasenko

Jaden SchwartzJori LehteraScottie Upshall

Dmitrij JaskinDavid BackesTroy Brouwer

Steve Ott–Scott Gomez–Kyle Brodziak

Alex PietrangeloJay Bouwmeester

Carl GunnarssonColton Parayko

Joel EdmundsonRobert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Next: Blues Spoil Oilers' Home Opener with a 4-2 Win